Montenegro’s opposition Socialist People's Party (SNP) has gathered the signatures of 73,497 people supporting their request for a referendum on the country’s accession to Nato, broadcaster RTCG reported on February 19. The party insists the decision should be made by a referendum, while prime minister Milo Djukanovic has said that the parliament should decide.
Nato invited Montenegro to begin accession talks on December 2 and the two parties held accession talks earlier this month. The invitation provoked a strong negative reaction from Russia. Some of Montenegro’s opposition parties organised protests against the country’s entry to the alliance, which Djukanovic has claimed were backed by Moscow.
“From December 29 we have gathered nearly twice more signatures than the constitution requires for [calling] legitimate referendum,” SNP leader Srdjan Milic, told reporters according to RTCG. This is over 10% of the country’s population of just over 600,000.
During the talks between Djukanovic and the opposition parties, the SNP asked for a referendum to be held together with general elections expected to take place later this year.
Montenegrins are split in their views on Nato. According to a poll conducted by Damar agency in November last year, if Montenegro calls a referendum asking its citizens whether they would support the country’s joining Nato, 49.2% would vote positively, while 36.1% would not support it.
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